Domestic violence shelters are still a novelty in Uganda. Many times when women are beaten, they run to their parents and relatives for refuge. These relatives invariably send them back to their abusive spouses because they cannot afford to refund bride price or because leaving a relationship is seen as not just the woman’s failing but the family’s by extension as well. A shelter serves to break this cycle of violence to give women respite from abuse.
It is a political act where she intentionally inserts her body- that which should move through the world clothed and preferably quietly- into the conversation. This is why shame comes easy to the gaze as the woman has deliberately cast her body as an object of representation of her suffering. Given the intent on the older woman’s part and the reason that would drive her to this point, it is no wonder that we call it a curse.
So yes, we shall keep that 1.5 for university. It may be revised, to figure out the imbalance in Sciences courses, but it should not be removed. Not as long as girls across the country are waking up in the morning to live life as farmer, sibling guardian, cook, cleaner in addition to their “side gig” as a student who has homework to do, tests to read for and a class to be in on time.
Kagendo Murungi gave us permission to transcribe her interview with Ugandan feminist and poet Melissa Kiguwa. We are not going to transcribe all of it- not just because there is almost an hour of it, but also because we want you to listen to it.
This quote, in which we completely love Kiguwa, starts from around 31:44 and ends at 36:00
So, while we celebrate the rise of Carol Beyanga to the top of Daily Monitor’s editorial chain, we are also cognizant of the fact that having women in charge does not automatically deal with the sexism in the media.
We spoke to Prossy Kawala about gender in the media, organising TEDx events in Uganda and the upcoming WPS Uganda institute in Kabale.
Undoubtedly, there are many factors at play here. Sexual and Gender-based Violence, a justice system that has not prosecuted many defilement cases (some families will choose marriage to resolve issue), cultural norms, poverty, etc. But let’s also look at the education system, from the time that the girl enrolls at P.1 to S.6- if she gets there- what are the issues within the system that stand in the way of her education? If she drops out, how and why?